by Mark Janzen
March 19, 2014, LANGLEY, British Columbia (ISN) – Playing its last home game of the spring schedule, the Trinity Western men’s soccer team dropped a 3-0 decision against professional NASL (North American Soccer League) side FC Edmonton Wednesday at Rogers Field.
The Spartans hung with a largely first choice Edmonton side over the course of the opening half and trailed by just one at the break. However, the Eddies broke the game open in the second half, tallying in the 50th minute and then again in the 57th minute to earn the three-goal win.
Edmonton’s Frank Jonke opened the scoring in the fifth minute while Horace James tallied early in the second half and Daryl Fordyce rounded out the scoring shortly thereafter.
Despite the three-goal loss, the Spartans goaltending duo of Andrew Hicks (Surrey, B.C.) and Evan Lowther (Surrey) put on an impressive display as they held a dangerous Eddies squad to just three goals. Hicks, who started the match before giving way to Lowther at halftime, was particularly sharp, making a couple of critical diving saves, including a stop on a Neil Hlavaty attempt from the penalty spot in the 35th minute.
“I’m certainly not displeased with our effort,” said Spartans coach Pat Rohla. “We were under pressure for most of the game but I thought we held our back line together quite well. It was a good performance against a quality NASL side. This is a seasoned pro team and we knew we would have to defend and that’s what we did. Our keepers played exceptionally well and overall I’m pleased.”
The Spartans are now 0-2 in the preseason, having also lost 1-0 against UNBC. This was Edmonton’s first 90-minute match since November. The Eddies have set up their training camp at Langley’s Willoughby Community Park and will play four more friendlies in the Lower Mainland before opening their NASL season April 12 on the road against Tampa Bay.
“The first half group had a fantastic attitude and credit to the first half Trinity Western keeper on making a number of great saves,” said Edmonton head coach Colin Miller. “This is a fantastic base and we’re looking forward to the next games already. Also, a big thank you to Pat Rohla and the Spartans for providing great opposition to us on our first game.”
The Spartans return to the pitch Saturday at noon when they will play UBC in Victoria’s Keg Cup semifinal.
The Eddies take on Simon Fraser University on Saturday at Terry Fox Field at 6 p.m.